By Jethro Ibileke
As part of its determination to enhance and boost security operation, the Edo State Government has trained a total of 574 community security operatives.
The trainees who form Batch A of the State Security Vigilante Network, graduated after a two-week intensive training at the Police Training School, Ogida, Benin City.
They were drawn from the six local government areas of Edo North.
The training focused on weapon handling, intelligence gathering, human rights protection and other modules, geared to better equip the operatives in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Deputy Governor of the state, Philip Shaibu, charged the operatives to ensure the protection of lives and property, eschew violence and discharge their duties within the ambit of the laws.
He said: “You have not been trained to go and terrorize your community but to complement the efforts of the state security council. Your duty is also to provide information and monitor all government properties. You are to work in line with the procedures, rules and regulations laid down for you.
“You must also work in harmony with your community leaders and village heads, defend the land and shun all negativity. Remember none of you is above the law. We have a security network that is all encompassing. The police cannot be everywhere but be in strategic areas watching over lives and property and can be effective only to the extent that all of us can give necessary information to them.”
He continued: “This is the reason for the establishment of the Edo State Security Vigilante Network. We have started recording successes. We are not there yet until we have a state where everybody can move freely without hitches, sleep with their eyes closed and where private investment flourishes.
“Edo State is currently one of the most secured states in Nigeria. We have a governor that has been able to coordinate all of us to the extent that we now take security as a priority. Without security, no investment can come.”
On his part, the Commissioner of Police, CP Muhammad Dankwara, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Operations, Edo State, Dantawaye Miller, also urged the graduands to ensure they synergize their operations with the Police Divisions in their area of influence.
He said: “We have enjoyed synergy with the security network and I want to tell you that with this training, we hope we will synergize more. I urge you to work closely with your Divisional Police Offices. When there are arrests, contact your DPOs for guidance on what to do so that you don’t break the law. Also, avoid being used for land grabbing activities.”
The Commandant, Police Training School, ACP Bamidele Awoniyi, urged the graduating operatives to carry everyone in their localities along so as to excel in their endeavours as expected.
Also, the Coordinator of the ESN, Col. Oshoriamhe Omomia (Rtd), expressed optimism and charged the graduands to deliver as expected of them in protecting their communities.
Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu presenting certificate to one of the graduands